Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington, easily one of the most amazing female sculptors in the past 100 years and my favorite person I have read about, died today in 1973. From this Web site:
Huntington was an unknown sculptor of animals before earning well-deserved and hard-won renown for her sculpture of Joan of Arc in Riverside Park, which was dedicated in 1915. In New York, she also made the statue of Jose Marti, which stands at Central Park South and Avenue of the Americas and the statue of El Cid Campeador, at 155th and Broadway. There are several replicas of her statue of Joan of Arc around the world, including one in her hometown of Gloucester, Mass., and one in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
Hyatt married the philanthropist Archer Huntington in 1923, in an impromptu wedding at her studio of West 12th Street in New York. The couple apparently kept their plans a secret; no one in his family, The Times reported, attended what was a very simple service.
The success of her Joan of Arc design propelled Huntington to new heights, and she went on to become one of America's most prolific sculptors: she is credited with more than 400 works in more than 200 museums and parks around the world. She used her husband's wealth and her influence to open the first public sculpture garden in America, Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, S.C.
The Times published a story about her on the day before her 86th birthday (March 11), reporting at that time that Huntington still sculpted two to three hours a day. Huntington told The Times she was working on a statue of Abraham Lincoln. "About 80 Lincolns have been done," she is quoted as saying, "but I think I've got a new composition." That new composition, a statue of Lincoln as a young country lawyer traveling on horseback, can bee seen in New Salem State Park in Petersburg, Ill.
Huntington and her husband lived for a time on East 89th Street in New York, and they had an estate near Bethel, Conn.
She was presented with the Legion d'honneur by France in 1922. She was given an honorary degree by Syracuse University in 1932.
Huntington was born March 10, 1876, and died Oct. 4, 1973. Her last statue was of the Revolutionary War General Israel Putnam, which stands at the entrance of Putnam State Park in Connecticut.